Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Swan’s Nest

The Swan's NestThe Swan’s Nest

In the North near the Baltic sea there is a swan’s nest. The swans fly out over countries to do great things. One swan was Tycho Brahe. Other swans were called the Lombards and the Varangians. People begged for mercy from the northern swans. There aren’t so many swans these days, but the Lord still relishes the swans and what they have done. One day there will be a last swan and a last swan song.


The story is a bit longer than my summary, so what in the heck is it about? It’s not really about swans, I’ll give you that much. The peoples mentioned in this story, the Lombards, Tycho Brahe, and the Varangians, are all peoples from the north who went south and became mercenaries and warriors. They left their own lands and warred in other lands. They were known as fierce warriors.


This story has nothing to do with actual swans. It’s about Norse warriors. It’s a nationalistic story. Hans was glorifying all the warriors of the north. He was comparing them to swans which are beautiful, strong, and swift in their flight.

This isn’t an actual fairytale, well, it’s not an actual fairytale for anybody not from a Norse country. It’s a statement of pride, veiled thinly in a story.

There isn’t really a nest of swans by the Baltic sea that produces warriors.


I find stories like this story difficult to deal with.

Weigh In

Wouldn’t you want to compare a warrior to another animal and not a swan?

Some of these groups were pretty fierce and deadly, I don’t really see a point in praising a group of people who brought so much bloodshed with them. Do you think they should be praised?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s